Oral Microbiome Researcher Named AAAS Fellow

Dentistry Today


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named Floyd Dewhirst, DDS, PhD, as a Fellow in Dentistry and the Oral Health Sciences. Dewhirst, a senior member of the staff at the Forsyth Institute, was elected by his peers for his contributions to molecular biology, particularly using molecular methods for the identification and classification of the human oral microbiome. He is now one of 395 members who have been named a Fellow.

“I am honored to be selected by my peers at AAAS, and I am thankful to my colleagues at the Forsyth Institute for their unwavering support,” said Dewhirst. “I have been fortunate that my career at Forsyth Institute has coincided with the pioneering work on the identification of the species that make up the oral microbiome. Our team is now applying genetic information on the oral microbiome to further understand how it impacts overall health. I hope to someday complete the genomic library for all species that make up the microbiome.”

Originally trained in dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco, and pharmacology at the University of Rochester, Dewhirst has helped identify the diverse, genetic capability and pathogenic potential of organisms in the oral cavity, according to the Forsyth Institute. He has identified the bacteria that can live in oral cavities, both cultivated and previously uncultivated, including about 700 species or phylotypes of human oral bacteria described in the Human Oral Microbiome Database at the Forsyth Institute.

“We are extremely proud of Floyd for this significant recognition,” said Wenyuan Shi, PhD, CEO and chief scientific officer of the Forsyth Institute. “His scientific contributions are tremendous to our field and will serve as a catalyst for research for years to come as we seek to understand how oral health and overall health are so closely linked. His knowledge has helped create an environment at Forsyth that fosters new and innovative ideas for our entire team.”

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